When you think about spring cleaning, maybe you envision yourself happily scrubbing, mopping and organizing your way into a household renewal. Then when it’s time to get down to business, all you see is a daunting project that could suck away your weekends for a month.
A recent survey conducted by SpareFoot found that 54 percent of Americans spend more than one full day spring cleaning; 22 percent say they spend three to six days cleaning and 13 percent said they spend more than a week cleaning.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to take forever, though. With a few spring cleaning shortcuts, you can drastically reduce the amount of time that you would typically spend on spring cleaning tasks.
The spring cleaning tips below will save save you times you can finish the chores in record time and enjoy the balmy days ahead.
Thorough planning leads to faster work and less cleaning. Prioritize your cleaning list and make sure the order is right, says Olivia Joyce, a professional cleaner.
Leave floors, carpets, and area rugs for last so you don’t have to clean them several times. Work from the top down so any dust and grime you dislodge from above only has to get cleaned up from the ground once.
Make sure you have all the right cleaning tools and products in a bucket or caddy to make a mobile cleaning kit so you don’t have to run around looking for cleaners. Your basic kit should include the following cleaning supplies: a spray bottle of half water and half white vinegar, baking soda, a glass cleaner, and a microfiber cloth. Add any other cleaning products that you use frequently.
Instead of outfitting your kit with an old-fashioned feather duster, which pretty much just stirs up a cloud of sneeze-inducing dust, try a Swiffer Duster that locks in dust particles, or use a slightly damp cloth.
Order Tasks by Importance
Create a schedule that’s easy to follow and achieve, says Sage Singleton, a home maintenance expert with SafeWise.
Prioritize safety first. Start with the most important tasks like checking smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in each room, then save smaller projects like sanitizing remotes later in the process.
Clean One Room at a Time
Try focusing on one room at a time, says Mark Clement, a home and DIY expert. Rather than try to clean all the windows in the house in one day, schedule window washing for one or two rooms at a time.
“One room per day over the weekend does two things,” says Mark. “It tricks me into thinking the job is smaller than it really is, and it gets me moving.”
Cleaning one room at a time also helps you focus your energies in one place, and will prevent you from getting sidetracked. You will spend less time walking around your house, and finish each room in record time.
Pick Up Pet Hair With a Glove
Use a vacuum cleaner with a long-bristle attachment to pick up any stray crumbs and pet hair on your furniture.
When it comes to those stubborn pet hairs, Joyce recommends wearing rubber gloves while going through the house removing all dog hair and fur balls by hand. Pet hair naturally clings to rubbery textures.
“You’ll be able to reach into the crevices of your sofa, something a lint roller can’t do,” says Joyce. “Then put your hands under running water, and the tiny hairs come off.”
Freshen Up Your Living Room
Instead of putting all of your throw pillows and cushion covers in the washing machine, use a handheld steam cleaner to freshen them up and lay waste to all the dust mites that are lurking in your upholstery. This will save you a lot of time and allow to move on to other tasks.
You can also use the steam cleaner to sanitize your window treatments.
Let Your Dishwasher Do the Work
Save time dusting and scrubbing by placing glass lampshades, toys, air vents, vases and other washable items into the dishwasher, turn it on and then go about your cleaning jobs, says Joyce.
Just think twice before putting anything in there that might melt under high heat, or change the temperature settings accordingly.
Enlist Your Kids
“In my house, spring cleaning is more like spring clearing,” says Karen Hoxmeier, a mom and small business owner. She and her kids gather toys, clothes, house wares and stuff from the garage to donate to charity, wiping down shelves and reorganizing along the way.
“Starting with a clutter-free space is a great foundation for a clean home,” says Hoxmeier.
It might take a moment to teach your kid how to properly clean windows or use a microfiber mop, but once they learn you’ll speed through your spring cleaning checklist in record time.
Hire a Pro
Be realistic about your capabilities so you don’t get in over your head.
“Before you tackle a huge home project, ask yourself if it’s a doable DIY project or if it would be better to spend a little money and save a lot of time by hiring a professional,” says Singleton.
Create a Monthly Checklist
Want to save time on next year’s spring cleaning? Follow a monthly checklist of home maintenance and organizing chores instead of tackling it all at once. Following a monthly task list helps you break the list into manageable and maintainable projects, Singleton says.
That way, next spring cleaning season you’ll use less elbow grease and spend less time scrubbing.